The order processing cycle of a wholesaler or distributor is vital to the efficiency of a B2B company. The speed at which orders are taken, picked, packed, and shipped, is one of the most important components to customer satisfaction. Speedy product delivery can build up customer trust, whilst an incorrect order delivery can destroy a business relationship.
If B2B wholesalers and distributors want to speed up their order processing they need to look at their full supply chain process and assess who they can improve it. The latest technologies offer increased efficiency for every step of the process.
The best place to start analyzing how an order processing system can be improved, is by looking at it from the beginning - order taking.
1. One single platform from beginning to end
Let’s say a sales rep takes an order manually on paper. He faxes it through to the back office, customer service or data entry personnel, who have to try to decipher the handwriting, and then type in every SKU and line item. This can lead to a significant delay, not to mention the possibility for errors, before that order even reaches your warehouse.
By automating the order writing process with wholesale ordering software that includes a mobile sales app, orders input electronically are automatically synced with your ERP or back office systems. The order is received immediately by the warehouse, eliminating the risk of human error and speeding up the process.
2. Wholesale ordering software provides real-time access to inventory levels
Back orders can slow down the order processing system. Having to keep track of back orders and make additional shipments and deliveries is not only a pain; it’s also costly. Why not prevent back orders from occurring in the first place?
Wholesale ordering software enables both sales reps and your customers to view inventory levels in real-time. Sales reps are aware of what items are available and can sell strategically, up-selling and cross-selling where appropriate. Customers don’t want to have to wait for out of stock inventory. If your customers are buying on your B2B eCommerce platform, they can see for themselves which products are in stock.
This leads to orders more orders for in-stock items and therefore quicker shipping times. Plus, more complete orders, as opposed to items missing on delivery.
3. Automate order taking and submission
Sales reps are busy people, juggling a variety of tasks. They take orders, check inventory, keep track of customer requests, give customer advice and guidance and more. Lots of pieces of paper are hard to keep track of. Wholesale ordering software gives them the tools to keep organized and provide the best possible service to their customers. They have full information on their stock status as well as order history and shipping statuses. All this means a reduction in the calls to the warehouse saving time for both the sales rep and warehouse staff.
Wholesale ordering software provides a single platform where both warehouse staff and field sales reps have full access to all the information relating to stock and orders in real-time.